Listed biotechnology firm e-therapeutics has raised £13.5 million in a share placing backed by M&G Investment Management, an institutional investor and existing shareholder of the company.

The Newcastle University spinout seems to be on an upward trajectory with its platform enabling more efficient drug discovery after CEO Ali Mortazavi – former long-time CEO of Silence Therapeutics and ex-professional chess player – joined in 2020 and reorganised the business.

After securing £11.6m growth funding which helped it to relocate its head office to Oxford – where it is now based – and open a new London base, it raised £22.5m in a share placing last year.

The latest fundraise will accelerate the next stage of its growth, the company said, helping it to create a new template for drug discovery using computation.

This allows it to model disease complexity, identify novel targets and design RNAi drugs against those targets that can be rapidly progressed to the clinic. 

“I am pleased to announce the fundraise of £13.5 million and excited by the prospect of being able to accelerate the development of our in-house RNAi pipeline through enhanced investment in our therapeutic programmes, hepatocyte datasets and computational capabilities,” said Mortazavi. 

“This successful fundraise underlines ETX’s position at the intersection of computational approaches to drug discovery and genetic medicine, using RNA interference as our drug modality of choice. We are grateful for the support of our shareholders and look forward to delivering value from our platform technologies.” 

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Michael Stiasny, head of UK equities at M&G Investments, commented: “With the potential to re-shape the conventional drug discovery model, siRNA based therapies represent an extremely exciting new modality in medicine. 

“We believe that e-therapeutics has a unique platform and strategically attractive IP in this space, combined with a strong computational edge, and are delighted to be increasing our long-term support for the company.”